October 27, 2012
Wanyama worth #25million - Lennon
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||2.7||1.4|
|Goals against *||0.7||1.3|
|Last 5 home||W-W-W-W-W||L-L-L-L-D|
|Last 5 away||W-D-L-D-L||W-L-W-L-D|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Celtic | Kilmarnock|
Neil Lennon has put a £25million valuation on Victor Wanyama after criticising the Kenyan's representative for revealing that the player has turned down the offer of a new contract from Celtic.
The 21-year-old midfielder signed a four-year deal when he moved from Belgian side Beerschot for a reported £900,000 in 2011 but the Parkhead club, in line with their recent policy of rewarding performances, have offered him new terms.
However, following Wanyama's impressive display for the Hoops in their Champions League clash with Barcelona at the Nou Camp on Tuesday night, the player's agent, Rob Moore, told STV: "Victor has informed Celtic the contract offer fell short of his expectations.''
The Celtic boss believes Wanyama is good enough to play for the Catalan giants, insisting he was in the "same mould'' as Barca midfielder Alex Song, as he defended his valuation of the player before hitting out at Moore.
"I don't know (if the value is realistic) but it is what I value him at,'' said Lennon, speaking ahead of Saturday's home league clash against Kilmarnock.
"I think he is a wonderful talent and he can only get better.
"If bids come in we are under no pressure to sell which is where we want to be with him at the minute.
"He has the world at is feet but his feet are here and he won't be going anywhere unless we get an out-of-this-world offer and even then, we don't have to sell him because he is on a long-term contract.''
Lennon was less complimentary when discussing Moore's revelation.
He said: "Unfortunately, for some reason, Victor's agent and representative has come out and made public that they have turned down a contract.
"I am not sure Victor has turned it down.
"He has not spoken to me. A month ago he went on record saying how happy he was at the club and I have no reason to disbelieve that.
"I was actually with his representative in Barcelona on Tuesday and had a brief chat and there was no discussion of him having turned down a new contract.
"So this has come out of the blue and I am disappointed that this has come out in public.
"We don't want to do our negotiations in public.
"We may go back to him again but we have offered him a significant pay rise.
"We don't have to do that but we feel it is reward for his performances.
"It is credit to the club and the board and I agree with that philosophy of rewarding players for performances.''
Georgios Samaras is out of Celtic's clash with Kilmarnock at Parkhead.
The Greece striker limped off in the first half in the Nou Camp with an ankle injury and is aiming to be back for the return game against the Catalan giants in just under a fortnight's time.
Kilmarnock boss Kenny Shiels will decide on Saturday morning what part, if any, Mahamadou Sissoko will play in the clash.
The 24-year-old defender spent the last two seasons on loan from Udinese and has returned to Rugby Park following his release from the Italian club, having received international clearance on Friday afternoon.
Shiels told Press Association Sport: "He is available for Saturday after the clearance came through.
"I have still to select the team so I am undecided about him but there is a chance he will be on the bench at least.''
Meanwhile, Killie midfielder Gary Harkins does not expect Celtic to display any signs of a European hangover following their intoxicating experience on Tuesday night.
The 27-year-old former Dundee and Blackburn player joked about the Celtic players' attitude to coming up against him after facing the superstars of Barca, before insisting the champions will have re-focused on the SPL.
"I am sure I will be asked for my strip to go up on the wall next to Lionel Messi's,'' he said.
"Seriously, it will be different for them but I'm sure they will be professional and treat it the right way.
"I think Celtic are a lot more professional than that.
"They will treat the next game as the most important one and they won't be dwelling on the Barcelona game.
"They will be going out to get three points.
"It is a long old time (since Kilmarnock won there) but records are there to be broken and so at some point I'm sure it will be done.
"It is another game and one where it is important for us to get points.
"We are looking forward to playing on a big stage, the atmosphere will be great and we will do the best we can."